Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How To Make Slippers From Sweaters

Mom's feet swell terribly and because of poor circulation they are almost always cold as well as being painful.  She's tried all kinds of slippers and socks but they never fit right and cut into her skin.  So my latest project was to make some slippers.

I started by buying 3 black sweaters, 100% wool, from Goodwill at $1.99 each.  I washed them in hot water and dried them in the drier and it about half felted them, maybe my water wasn't hot enough or it didn't agitate long enough, but they worked fine anyway.  This was the first time tried to felt anything.
I put a plastic grocery sack on each foot and carefully taped with duct tape to make forms.  Then I cut down the back to slip them off.  Afterward I taped them back together and stuffed with newspaper.  You can see from this photo how badly her feet swell.
Next I traced a pattern around each foot manikin and using sleeve parts cut out 3 layers for each foot, about 1/4" bigger than the pattern.  Then I cut out 2 pieces of leather I had (you could easily use chamois) to the exact pattern, this was so she would not slip when walking on tile. I whip stitched around the edge of both wool soles to bind the 3 layers together.
I marked for holes in the leather and since it was thin and soft I was able to pierce each hole using a big safety pin by poking into my pin cushion.
The leather soles were pinned to the wool soles and using doubled quilting thread for its strength, I did a backstitch to attach the leather to the wool.
I laid the torso part of the sweater over the foot form and pinned it at the back.  It was cut as you see to drape over the foot.  Pinning at the back drew it up to fit better.  This part is 2 layers thick and I whip stitched the bottom edge.
I pinned the top to the sole and began whip stitching it together, starting at the back.  When I got to the toe area I had to gather the top slightly to make it fit.
At the back I overlaid one side on top of the other to stitch the back seam.  I put all the seams on the outside intentionally to keep there from being anything that would dig into Mom's feet or ankles.

Then I whip stitched the opening, it looks pretty ragged here but it's not done yet.
Time to remove the forms and go for a test.  I ended up cutting and taking in the back seam to give them a closer fit.

Finally a cuff was added using the turtle neck of one of the sweaters.  A little more adjusting and they fit well, stay on and most importantly, keep her feet warm.  Though they are not very pretty, they are functional.

No pattern was used, it was simply trial and error to fit them.  For regular sized feet there are patterns available if you do a search for them.


Anonymous said...

You are very clever! That was interesting and reproducible. I need to look for some nice leather like that first.

Linda said...

You used very good techniques to make these fit, be comfortable, and help her health. kudos

ladyhawthorne said...

Thank you for your kind comments!

Anonymous said...

Sweet thing for your mom, wish I seen this in time for my own mom.

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